Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Winning Articles Announced!

Eighteen published articles. More than 300 SIQ scorings. Over 10,500 views. And now, three winning articles!

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Congratulations are in order for the following authors – as their articles

  1. 1st place: ‘3D-Printing of Arteriovenous Malformations for Radiosurgical Treatment: Pushing Anatomy Understanding to Real Boundaries’ by Conti, Pontoriero, Lati, Marino, La Torre, Vinci, Germano, Pergolizzi and Tomasello
  2. 2nd place: ‘Prognostic Value of MR Imaging Texture Analysis in Brain Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Oligo-Metastases Undergoing Stereotactic Irradiation’ by Nardone, Tini, Biondi, Sebaste, Vanzi, De Otto, Rubino, Carfagno, Battaglia, Pastina, Cerase, Mazzoni, Buonamici and Pirtoli
  3. 3rd place: ‘Robotic Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Intramedullary Spinal Cord Metastases: A Case Report and Literature Review’ by Garcia, Sallabanda, Santa-Olalla, Guerra, Aviles, Sallabanda, Rivin and Samblas

In addition to the winning articles listed above, the competition has produced 15 more high-quality articles from around the world, all of which are available free of charge on the competition page.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to the Cureus community for their efforts in reading and scoring competition articles over the past few months. Without you, this competition would not be possible.

And remember – even though the competition is over, you can still access and score all of the articles. Thanks for your support!

– Cureus and Accuray

Exceptional Responders in Oncology: Winning Case Report Announced!

51 published case reports. More than 1,200 SIQ scorings. Over 12,000 views. Only 1 winner.

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Congratulations to Mark ZakiPam LaszewskiNatasha RobinetteHusain SalehNaweed RazaAmmar Sukari & Harold Kim! Their case report, entitled ‘Unresectable Extraskeletal Myxoid Chondrosarcoma of the Neck: Early Tumor Response to Chemoradiotherapy,’ received the highest SIQ score, with an 8.2 (which has since risen to a stellar 8.5).

In addition to the winning article, we received dozens of high-quality case reports from around the world, all of which are now published and available free of charge.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to the Cureus community for their efforts in reading and scoring dozens of case reports over the past few months. Without you, this competition would not be possible – you’ve helped shine a spotlight on dozens of interesting cases of exceptional responders in oncology.

And remember – even though the competition is over, you can still access and score any of the 51 case reports. Stay tuned for news about our next competition – launching soon!

In Response to Allegations Concerning Internet Medical Society

Allegations were recently leveled against iMed.pub, an organization affiliated with one of our channel partners, Internet Medical Society. We take such matters very seriously. We have conducted a thorough investigation and we’re here to share our thoughts on this situation as we move forward.

After considering the allegations and speaking at length with the IMS channel administrator, Manuel Menendez, we can state that we believe in the sincerity of IMS’s ambition to publish credible medical scientific articles. While the accusations are certainly nothing to take lightly, we feel confident that work being submitted to Cureus via the IMS channel is of suitable quality and repute. Furthermore, via our wholly unique post-publication review and scoring system, Cureus is in a unique position to uncover fraudulent and illegitimate science, as we actively encourage our community to examine and review articles long after they’ve passed through peer review.

It is worth reminding all readers of scientific publications to always interpret the content with a skeptical eye, whether the article is published in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine or Cureus. Healthy skepticism is always at the heart of science. It is only through the lens of time that scientific ideas can be truly validated, which is why we at Cureus advocate for our process of post-publication review via SIQ.

As a result, Cureus will continue to host the Internet Medical Society channel and looks forward to the channel’s continued success. As has been the case since our launch in 2011, Cureus will not tolerate plagiarism or illegitimate or untoward publication practices and will remain ever-watchful for any signs of potential transgressions.

Cureus has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central!

We are pleased to announce that Cureus has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central® (PMC) (with citations added to PubMed). PMC is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life science journal literature operated by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

We know how much our authors value PMC indexing. Knowing your published article has been indexed should result in relief and validation that your work will be available for the medical community to discover, read, discuss and cite.

Cureus indexed in PMC

Since the start of the year, we’ve published nearly 50 peer-reviewed articles documenting clinical experience and medical research from around the world. All of these articles can now be found in PMC (and their citations in PubMed), and we’re looking forward to the continued expansion of the Cureus library of peer-reviewed literature. Going forward, all articles published in Cureus will be indexed in PMC within one month of publication.

Thank you for your continued support of Cureus. This is a big step for our journal and we’re looking forward to more articles and more readers in the coming months. Please contact us at info@cureus.com with any questions.

Note (8/19/15): We’ve recently discovered that although articles published within Cureus are cited within PubMed, this does not constitute formal indexing. This blog post has been updated to reflect this distinction.

Comments from an Invited Reviewer: How Cureus is Different

Here at Cureus we take author and reviewer satisfaction very seriously. We strive to respond to all questions, comments and complaints as soon we can, often within just a few hours. If you’re familiar with the Cureus mission, you know that constructing a publication process devoid of politics (and supporting the increased transparency that comes with it) are our primary goals.
With that in mind, we’d like to share a recent exchange between an anonymous Cureus peer-reviewer unhappy with the amount of time he received to review an article.

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Reviewer: Less than a week for an academic neurosurgeon to provide a review? Hmmmm.

Cureus: I was forwarded your recent email lament about the review period ending on a paper to which you were recently invited to comment. I wanted to reach out to you by email to firstly, thank you for responding, and secondly to explain a little bit more how the Cureus review process is designed to work, which as you perhaps noted is quite different than traditional journals.

As an academic neurosurgeon myself, I am all too aware that sometimes it can be impossible to find the time to review a manuscript just because one is just too darn busy. That is a given!! What happens in traditional journals routinely is that such busy academics plan to review a paper but for a range of reasons never get around to it. Therefore, the editor in chief and staff of most journals spend most of their time (and journal money) chasing down reviewers and as a result the process of review can last for months in many cases. We at Cureus have tried to do something quite different in our review process. We invite a number of reviewers to review but we fully expect most to be too busy and decline. If anyone is busy, it is quite ok to decline, our Cureus editorial team totally understands. However, the expectation is that a few of the invited reviewers will have both the time and the interest to perform a timely review……in fact, we are eventually hoping to achieve a review cycle of just a few days.

While this review cycle is better than nearly all other medical journals, it should be noted that NEJM does offer a turn around time in a week for some selected topics so this objective is not totally beyond current trends at the most selective journals. By resetting expectations for reviews, Cureus hopes to avoid the many month review cycles that are commonplace with JNS or Neurosurgery for example. The beauty of a faster review cycle is that the reviewed article remains fresh in everyone’s mind so that a lot of time is not wasted reacquainting oneself (both author and reviewers) with the article and any reviewer comments that emanate with each review cycle. Moreover, Cureus’ in-browser reviewing tool makes it easier than ever for a reviewer to comment on a paper and communicate their critique directly to the author. In the process hopefully everyone wins. The ultimate objective is to accelerate the process of publishing/documenting medical science, which I believe to be a net positive.

Clearly your first interaction with Cureus was less than ideal. I am hoping that after my explanation here you might give Cureus another try? In particular I would love you to perhaps even consider publishing your own article in our totally FREE open access journal, an experience first hand how a faster/easier review process can even make publishing peer reviewed papers FUN!!  I note that you are a DBS guy and by virtue of such you clearly must be comfortable with new ideas and technology. As Cureus seeks to innovate in the medical journal space, we especially welcome early adopters like yourself.

I am happy to answer any further questions should you have any or address any other concerns your might have.

Reviewer: Many thanks for your email and clarification. I do agree that the review process is often too lengthy, especially with the journals you mention. Sadly, even with the best will in the world, the pressures of clinical work and other academic deadlines do not make it feasible for me to provide a thorough review on a paper within a week of receiving the request.

That said, now that I understand the philosophy behind the Cureus review process and I do like the idea. It is a clean and workable solution, but I fear it may work against the clinical scientist, especially in the surgical field where time is more limited.

I do find publishing fun … especially the debate with constructive reviewers. I will think of Cureus if I have any suitable material in the coming months.

——

A fair argument? What do you think?

Hear From the Co-Founder: Dr. Alexander Muacevic

alexander-muacevic_01Cureus: Tell us about your background – how did you decide to pursue a career in medicine? How did you settle on brain surgery?

Alex: I started my medical career at the University of Mainz and did my doctoral on surgical strategies for multiple intracranial aneurysms. I was always fascinated by the option to work at the very central part of human beings – the brain. I got the chance to participate in one of the best neurosurgery programs in our country at the University of Munich Hospitals and finished the residency program there in 2003.

Cureus: You’ve also worked as the Director of the European Cyberknife Center in Munich for the past 9 years. How did you get involved with Cyberknife radiosurgery? What’s a typical day like for you at the Cyberknife Center?

During my residency program I got more acquainted with the possibilities of brain radiosurgery and it was obvious to me that this kind of non-invasive and equally effective therapy for certain tumors has a big future perspective. I did an additional two years of training in radiation oncology and teamed up with my partner Berndt Wowra who already was an experienced brain radiosurgeon. During that time we learned about the new radiosurgery innovation called Cyberknife and decided to found a new center together with the University of Munich Hospitals to offer this kind of treatment option for the first time in Germany. My ambition was and is to establish radiosurgery as a full body treatment method for the whole body, not only the brain.

Cureus: And as if that wasn’t enough, you’re also a professor at the University of Munich! What can you tell us about your professorial experiences over the years?

Alex: During my residency I worked on several research projects to do a thesis for an additional medical degree which is similar to the Ph.D. in the U.S.. Since I continued to publish scientific contributions after my thesis, the University of Munich appointed me a full professor in 2013. I was fortunate to receive this title as this is something you can not apply for yourself.

Cureus: How did you get involved with Cureus? What attracted you to the concept of an open-access, free-to-publish medical journal?

Alex: I’ve known John Adler for many years and we were both very involved in a medical society called The Radiosurgery Society. Initially our idea was to establish a medical journal for this society but when we started to work on it we came to the conclusion that there is urgent demand for a new way for medical publications to take on the web capabilities of the 21st century. We started with a small group and called our platform Peeremed.com. It was obvious that we needed to step up and find a more professional group to pursue our dreams of a real powerful web 2.0 journal plattform for the upcoming publishing generation. We had contacted several groups in Germany, but as all of the big web innovations nowadays come out of Silicon Valley we worked on establishing the new company – Cureus.com – in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Cureus: Not only are you a co-founder of Cureus, but you’re also the Co-Editor-in-Chief – what does that entail? Describe your daily editorial duties.

Alex: My job is to manage the articles from submission to final publication. I need to make sure they fulfill the criteria of a scientific contribution in terms of data quality, and also bureaucratic aspects like disclosures and conflict of interest. Furthermore I manage the review process with our team to achieve fast and high-quality reviews for our authors.

Cureus: Peer-reviewed medical science has grown increasingly political of late, with accusations of reviewer and editorial bias. What are your thoughts on this? Why is Cureus different?

Alex: Cureus offers the most unbiased possibility for publishing scientific data, as the decisions of how and what to publish remain up to the author. The author himself is responsible for his data, he keeps his copyright and is evaluated by the scientific community-at-large similar to ratings at YouTube or Amazon. This is a huge difference from the conventional publication process where two or three so-called insiders decide what is published or rejected – a very biased and inadequate way to evaluate the academic work of your fellow researchers.

Cureus: Thanks so much for taking the time!

Alex: Thank you.

SBMT and Cureus Team Up To Accelerate the Publication of Leading Edge Neuroscience

One challenge of the twenty-first century is to catalyze the development of medical advances from basic science. To help accelerate diagnostic and therapeutic discoveries, one of the leading multispecialty and multidisciplinary associations, Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, has teamed with Cureus, an innovative online open-access medical journal, to bring together clinicians, scientists, engineers and policy makers from multiple disciplines who share this aspiration of improving patient care. The two cutting edge organizations believe their partnership is essential to bring about advances in neurosurgery, radiology, neurology, stem cell research, nanotechnology and psychiatry.

“Cureus is a free, open access, peer-reviewed journal that rapidly publishes a broad range of medical science including all types of articles, posters and meeting abstracts,” said John Adler, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and Cureus Founder.

Cureus’ browser based tools enable well written articles to be routinely peer reviewed and published in less than one week. The journal is the first and only journal employing “crowd sourcing” to ascertain the scientific quality of published peer-reviewed articles. While accepting a broad range of medical science, Cureus focuses on advanced technology and innovative medical procedures. Additionally, case reports are enthusiastically welcomed and routinely published.

“Cureus seeks to find the broadest possible audience for every paper, including curious patients, and uniquely offers a “Patient Reported Outcome” section that runs in parallel with articles reporting clinical outcomes,” stated John Adler.

Cureus also uniquely supports the solicitation of charitable gifts to an author’s not-for-profit research fund; this could be a great tool for SBMT, which is a non-profit organization that encourages scientists in areas of brain mapping, engineering, stem cells, nanotechnology, imaging, and medical devices to improve the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders.

“We believe this collaboration will provide an additional tool for our colleagues and members who are thinking out of the box and taking a multidisciplinary approach to solving complex neurological disorders,” said Dr. Ramin Rak, SBMT board member and neurosurgeon at Winthrop University.

Cureus and SBMT will be exhibiting their vision at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in Boston, MA next week from October 20-22 at booth 660 in the exhibit hall of the Boston Convention Center.

To learn more about SBMT, visit http://www.worldbrainmapping.org

Cureus in the Field: A Visit to Carl Zeiss Meditec

ZEISS 1 A few members of the Cureus team recently took some time out of their day to visit the folks over at Carl Zeiss Meditec in warm, sunny Dublin, California. (Weather that is, sadly, all too rare here in San Francisco.) The purpose of our visit was to provide a wrap-up of the recently concluded ZEISS/Cureus Intraoperative Fluorescence Publishing Competition.

We delivered the final competition statistics and took a look at all of the great articles submitted as part of the competition. We can’t thank ZEISS enough for taking a chance on this original and exciting marketing opportunity, an opportunity that both parties can now comfortably label a success!

Stay tuned for more information on future Cureus publishing competitions and feel free to reach out to us at info@cureus.com if your organization is interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity!

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ZEISS & Cureus Intraoperative Fluorescence Competition Results

Five months, ten published articles and countless article views later, we’ve finally arrived at the finish line. Cureus would like to thank all of the submitting authors for their excellent work, the reviewer panel for their tireless efforts and the Cureus community for pitching in to read and score the articles. By publishing ten articles on the topic of microscope-integrated intraoperative fluorescence, we’ve managed to increase the world literature on the topic by roughly 27%!

Additionally, the competition has thus far generated 19,617 article views and 377 article scorings – we’re beyond excited that our authors’ work has generated such a fevered response.

As a reminder, prizes are awarded to three articles: The Grand Prize for Scientific Acclaim ($3,000) is awarded to the article with the highest SIQ score. Educator Awards ($1,000 each) are awarded to two articles: the most viewed article and the article receiving the most audience engagement (SIQ scorings + comments).

Without further ado, we’re pleased to announce the winning articles of the ZEISS/Cureus Intraoperative Fluorescence Publishing Competition:

Grand Prize for Scientific Acclaim (7.5 SIQ): “A Bioengineered Peptide that Localizes to and Illuminates Medulloblastoma: A New Tool with Potential for Fluorescence-Guided Surgical Resection” by Ackerman, Wilson, Kahn, Kintzing, Jindal, Cheshier, Grant & Cochran

Educator Award (6,713 article views): “The Use of 5-ALA in Glioblastoma Resection: Two Cases with Long-Term Progression-Free Survival” by Awad & Sloan

Educator Award (92 audience actions): “Intraoperative Photodynamic Surgery (iPDS) with Acridine Orange for Musculoskeletal Sarcomas​” by Kusuzaki, Matsubara, Satonaka, Matsumine, Nakamura, Sudo, Murata, Hosogi & Baldini

Winning submitting authors will be contacted with additional instructions for claiming their prizes.

Complete competition statistics:

  • 19,617 article views
  • 377 SIQ scorings
  • 80 author and audience article shares
  • 670 clicks resulting from these shares
  • 8 minutes – the average engagement time per user

Thanks again to all of the competition authors, reviewers and community members for helping determine our winners. Please feel free to contact us at info@cureus.com if you’d like to learn more about our publishing competitions.

The Wonders of the Cured U.S. Ebola Patients

I should preface this post by saying that I am not a doctor, nor am I in medical school. I’m just a guy, albeit a guy who works for Cureus and lives with a doctor, and therefore a guy who is very keen on following all the latest advancements and breakthroughs in the world of medicine.  With this morning’s news that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been discharged from Emory University Hospital, a positive ray of light has pierced the seemingly ever-present storm clouds hovering over the world, whether one looks to the Russia/Ukraine border, Ferguson, Missouri or the Gaza Strip.

From the New York Times:

The two American aid workers who were the first patients ever to be treated for the Ebola virus at a hospital in the United States have been released, capping a transcontinental medical drama that stirred public debate about whether any American with the virus should have been allowed to return.

Emory University Hospital, which admitted Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol to a specialized isolation ward earlier this month, said both were discharged after at least two weeks of treatment. Dr. Brantly was released on Thursday, the hospital said, after Ms. Writebol was quietly discharged on Tuesday.

While the media would have you believe that contracting Ebola is akin to a death sentence, that is simply not the case. According to WHO statistics, Liberia and Sierra Leone are reporting death rates of 56% and 43% respectively (of those infected with the disease). With the United States now standing at a 0% death rate for those treated on U.S. soil, one has to wonder if the successful treatment of Writebol and Brantly might possibly signify the beginning of more advanced treatment of this terrible disease – treatment resulting in far lower death rates than those reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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The exact cause of the treatment’s success has yet to be determined; it’s entirely possible that Brantly and Writebol are just two of the lucky few, with no more to it than that. If that’s not all, though, then we must all hope that the technology, medication and treatment methods used in these cases soon find there way to Africa.